The Oath of Allegiance in the Early Tradition and Poetry, <i>c</i>. 680–<i>c</i>. 710

Andrew Marsham

in Rituals of Islamic Monarchy

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780748625123
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653157 | DOI:
The Oath of Allegiance in the Early Tradition and Poetry, c. 680–c. 710

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This chapter discusses the oath of allegiance in early tradition and poetry during the Marwanid era. The legal tradition and the poetry of the Marwanids emphasise the monotheist and soterilogical basis of the pledge: death without a bay،a is a pagan, or jahili, death; indeed, for Kharijite rebels against the caliphs the bay،a is a sale of one's life in jihad. The first section of this chapter discusses the pledge of allegiance in the early tradition. Because the pledge of allegiance was usually the pledge for loyalty in war, it entailed the obligation to settle in a garrison, ready to campaign in holy war (hijra). The second section discusses the bay،a in Kharijite poetry. The third section focuses on poetry and the idea of the oath of allegiance in the early Marwanid period. In the Umayyad poetry and speeches of the seventh and eighth centuries, there exist the same ideas that occur in the Kharijite poetry and the legal tradition to assert Umayyad legitimacy. One of the earliest and most significant examples of Umayad poetry is the panegyric for the second Marwanid caliph, ،Abd al-Malik. The poem reflects the ongoing reinvention of the Arabic poetry tradition in the new context of the caliphate. It functions as a declaration of loyalty to the Umayyads and the caliph at the same time it is a call to the caliph not to forget the poet' right to special favour. The last section discusses the provincial pledge of allegiance in the early Umayyad period.

Keywords: oath of allegiance; tradition and poetry; Marwanid era; legal tradition; bay،a; pledge of allegiance; Kharijite poetry

Chapter.  7707 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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